On a fine summer’s evening at Chicago’s Soldier Field, USA comprehensively beat first-time finalists Jamaica 4-1 thanks to a Chris Wondolowski hat-trick, to win their fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Jamaican centre-back Jermaine Taylor, talisman of the side in their semi-final victory over Trinidad & Tobago watched helplessly as his attempted clearance sailed past his own goalkeeper with less than three minutes played. Chris Wondolowski scored his sixth goal in six games on 35 minutes with a neat finish from 15 yards, before doubling his tally on the night by flicking home a corner in first-half stoppage time.
Cometh the hour mark, cometh the man for his hat-trick – the first in a Gold Cup Final. As the clock ticked on to 60 minutes, San Jose Earthquakes man Wondolowski got a two-yard head-start on his marker and crashed home a Jonathan Spector through-ball for 4-0 and his eighth goal in six games, a tournament best since 1993*.
Michael Bradley, cautioned in the first-half for a crunching challenge on Jobi McAnuff, was gven his marching orders with 15 minutes left to play. Penalised for handball as Jamaica mounted an attack, a mixture of that and dissent towards the Mexican referee earned him a second yellow. The numerical advantage didn’t add anything to Jamaica’s game until stoppage time, however, when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was unmarked at a corner and he prodded home a consolation.